Letters, magazines, bills, flyers, what to do with them all. There should be only two responses to every piece of mail or e-mail, do something with it, or toss it!
The best way, as always, to deal with it all is in an organized fashion.
One of the quickest ways to do this is to have the following folders:
A red one for things that must be dealt with immediately. This would include anything that needs an immediate response, something that has to be done today. A letter you must respond to, a meeting you have to schedule, a report you need to do, a telephone call that needs to be made. Within this folder you will need to prioritize what needs to be handled first, second, etc.
Bills that come in and need to be paid should be placed in your tickler file a couple days before their due date to account for mailing time. So as you are opening your bills that come in the mail, check the due date and place them in your tickler file. If it has to be paid upon receipt, put it in the red folder so you can deal with it immediately.
Meetings (flyers) that have to be attended are placed in a gray folder. Be sure to check the dates, highlight them. Your next step is to be sure to place them on your calendar, and then to tickle them two days before for your review or if there is anything you need to do or prepare for the meeting.
If you receive meeting highlights or minutes by mail, these can be placed in a yellow folder for your perusal at a later date. These are the types of things that can be read during lunch, or while backing up files, printing, etc.
Magazines and articles you receive can be placed in a black folder. This is your reading folder. Take it with you when you go on appointments that you know you will have some lag time. Read during lunch. Schedule time in the morning and weekends. If you make reading a part of your daily schedule, it won't pile up. And remember, once you read it, file it away, or toss it.
Every piece of paper should generate a reaction, the reaction might be to deal with it, file it, or toss it, but one of them needs to occur. If you follow this simple rule, you can keep mail and paperwork under control, and your sanity to boot.
Copyright DeFiore Enterprises 2000
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